REDD + projects: source of resources to promote territorial ethnic plans

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

August 31, 2020. REDD + projects (Reduction of Emissions derived from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) have become a reference instrument to promote the sustainable development of strategic regions through the conservation of forests; contributing to the goals at the country level for the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and combating poverty and inequality in these regions.

LREDD + Projects become highly relevant from the creation of the Carbon Tax, through Law 1819 of 2016, and its subsequent regulation through Decree 926 of 2017, also within the creation of RENARE, which occurs with the issuance of Resolution 1447 of 2018 by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS).

The conjunction of these norms allows the creation of a recent and promising Colombian carbon market, which is energized by the neutralization of GHG emissions by taxpayers within the tax, who receive tax benefits for the purchase of emission reduction certificates, meanwhile direct and indirect benefits are transferred to communities that are custodians of strategic ecosystems, which generate a high impact in this sector due to their economic activities; to the non-causation of the carbon tax.

Among the main objectives of these projects is to reduce deforestation, (which reached 158,894 hectares in Colombia in 2019, according to IDEAM figures), to understand and counteract forest degradation, and to mitigate the various environmental and economic impacts caused by climate change. , through the capture and retention of forest carbon.

Additionally, said projects within the Colombian regulatory framework must adjust to the different planning instruments in collective territories and to comply with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), to the point that new standards are being developed to certify these projects based on the SDGs.

“With the structuring of REDD + projects, we seek to strengthen governance in the territories and meet the basic needs of indigenous reservations and ethnic communities. Today we have 3 of our projects in the implementation stage that have yielded positive results and have been evident in the communities ”, says Ana Milena Plata, Executive Director of BIOFIX.

The impact of these projects

Since 2018, BIOFIX has been developing mitigation initiatives through REDD + projects in areas highly impacted by deforestation. Today, these initiatives seek to benefit more than 9 thousand ethnic, indigenous and Afro-Colombian families that live in these territories through the commercialization of carbon credits. “We have a benefit-sharing mechanism that respects the autonomy and self-determination of indigenous peoples and Afro territories,” adds Ana Plata.

The life or ethnodevelopment plans of the communities are a local territorial planning instrument that serves as a guiding tool for the development desired in the future by the members of the ethnic collectivities, based on the recognition of the potentialities and local social and environmental determinants.

In most cases, life plans are constituted as the key references where communities reflect their worldview, settlement and migration histories, ancestral cultural traditions, inherited customs and uses, forms of internal organization, means of subsistence and general relationship with the natural environment from spiritual, spatial, economic and social perspectives.

“The REDD + project has brought a positive impact to our communities. In the future, activities will be developed that will be financed with the resources that the project brings, and from that, the good living of the indigenous peoples will be guaranteed, in each of the reservations that are involved ”, says Walter Gómez, president of the regional council Indigenous of Vichada, who is an indigenous leader and authority within the KALIAWIRI REDD + project, adding that: “surely the life plan will be strengthened more and more according to its lines of action and we will achieve those projects that were dreamed of at some point , related to good living ”.

As well as KALIAWIRI REDD +, other mitigation initiatives have been developed by BIOFIX CONSULTORÍA under the REDD + mechanism, standing out for its socio-environmental impact not only in the country, but also in the continent. This is the case of the DELFINES CUPICA REDD + project, located in the municipalities of Bahía Solano and Juradó, Chocó, and which recently received the award for best project in the Forest and Flora category of the 2020 Latin America Green Awards.

In this way, REDD + Projects have become an important source for generating climate finance resources and guaranteeing that the ethnic-territorial plans of the communities are built, complemented and / or executed.

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